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Ukrainian Opposition Activist Beaten At Campaign Event

Banner celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) Party
KHARKIV, Ukraine -- The Ukrainian opposition party Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) says an elderly woman campaigning for it was beaten by two masked men in the eastern city of Kharkiv on October 19, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

A Batkivshchyna spokesperson in Kharkiv told RFE/RL the incident took place near a tent pitched by the party to support the Batkivshchyna candidate for the mayoral election scheduled for October 31.

It said two men started assaulting a young female campaign worker. When the older woman tried to intervene, one of the men hit her in the face. The elderly woman, 68, lost consciousness and was hospitalized with a broken jaw and high blood pressure.

The Kharkiv Oblast Interior Ministry told RFE/RL an investigation into the beating has been opened.

It was the second attack on a Batkivshchyna campaigner in Kharkiv in the last 10 days. On October 11, a party supporter was beaten by unknown persons. Local police did not investigate.

The Batkivshchyna party is led by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.